Startup Weekly: Founders Factory and L’Oréal announce cohort, a £30,000 pitch event and more


Welcome to Startup Weekly – your weekly roundup of news from the UK’s tech startup world.

WISE Announces Accelerator Cohort for 2017-18

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) has announced the four projects set to benefit from this year’s accelerator programme. These are:

  • UK cloud-based life sciences tech course provider CamBIOScience
  • UK-based critical and independent thinking programme Doc Academy
  • AI and data science-backed university counseling platform Pixis, based in France.
  • Tabshoura in a Box, a Lebanese alternative education initiative designed to support deprived and refugee communities by way of offline digital learning resources.

The WISE programme provides tailored mentorship and also serves as an intermediary, connecting projects with an international knowledge, donor and investor contact sharing network.

Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO, WISE, remarked: “These four promising initiatives offer smart solutions to pressing education challenges including the need for 21st century skills to prepare for an uncertain future of work, the rapidly advancing field of STEM, and the global refugee crisis.”

Accelerate Places launches £30,000 pitch event

Accelerate Places is hosting a pitch competition in Manchester this month worth £30,000 to the successful business.

At the October 31st pitch night, five shortlisted companies will be chosen to present their ideas in-person before a panel of representatives from VC firm Blenheim Chalcot.

Launched to support Manchester’s burgeoning startup and tech scenes, the prize bundle will be granted in the form of cash investment, desk space, expert mentoring, web hosting and communications support. 

Potential candidates are invited to send a two-minute video pitch via the competition’s website or by email ahead of the October 16th deadline.

Scaleup growth programme Upscale 3.0 launches

Tech City UK scaleup growth programme Upscale is entering its third year, opening entries for Upscale 3.0.

Participants in the free to enter initiative will have the opportunity to take part in 35 workshops where they will face real business challenges faced by alumni including hiring, talent retention, company culture, board management and international expansion.

To date, 63 scaleup companies have completed the programme and have gone on to raise over $710m in growth capital.

Participants will have access to an extensive alumni network that includes Monzo, Improbable, Seedrs, Kano, Bulb and Boiler Room, in addition to 30 dedicated scale coaches, regular socials, government business contacts, and support from programme partner Silicon Valley Bank.

Applications opened on 4th October and will close on 31st October.

L’Oréal beauty tech accelerator participants revealed

This week L’Oréal and Founders Factory have announced the cohort of startups selected to join its six month accelerator programme in London. These are:

  • Sampler – a digital product sampling specialist
  • Riviter –  an AI visual search engine which identifies products in images and locates them online
  • Alegra – a multi device content and e-commerce platform continuing its participation

Lubomira Rochet, chief digital officer at L’Oréal, said: “Merging the innovation capacities of L’Oréal with those of beauty tech startups creates a powerful synergy which helps to address the aspirations of our consumers and to build a new generation of personalised and smart digital services. Open innovation is a win-win strategy that fosters disruptive thinking and pushes forward our digital leadership in beauty.”

Henry Lane Fox, CEO and co-founder of Founders Factory, remarked: “We fully understand the difficulties in launching a technology business and we are providing these startups with a competitive advantage; unrivaled support both via our Founders Factory operations team and the insights and scale of L’Oréal.”

That’s all for today… See you next Friday!